Distance Learning

Distance Learning Center

Frequently Asked Questions

General Questions


  • Are distance learning courses for me?
  • Find out by answering the questions in the Distance Learning Center Questionnaire.
  • Can people really learn through distance learning?
  • Yes! Studies indicate that there is no significant difference in the learning that takes place in distance learning courses and traditional classroom courses (Russell, 1999). Many instructors and students feel that online courses offer an increase in the ability to interact, and students report that they have greater access to course materials and to the instructor during computer-delivered classes (Ward, 1999).
  • How are distance learning courses different from regular courses on campus? Can anyone take them?
  • The course objectives and curriculum for distance learning are the same as for on-campus classes; it is simply the method of delivery which is different. Students who take distance learning courses generally say they are the same difficulty or more difficult than courses on campus. This is because distance learning students need to be self-motivated and have good study skills. Most distance learning students are working toward a specific educational goal. Anyone who is eligible to enroll in the community college may enroll in distance learning courses (age 18 + or a high school graduate), but students are encouraged to self-select themselves based on their own background and skills. The De Anza College Schedule of Classes, and the Distance Learning Center homepage contain a short survey which helps students decide if distance learning courses are appropriate for them.
  • How do I enroll in Distance Learning Courses?
  • You should enroll using the regular college registration procedures. New distance learning students to the college should complete the online application
    Once your application is accepted you will be able to log in to Foothill De Anza portal to find your date to register and information about how to enroll for classes. More information about college admissions and records procedures can be found on our Student Registration page.
  • What does the Distance Learning Center at De Anza College do?
  • The Distance Learning Center:
    • Offers courses encompassing a variety of academic subject areas.
    • Serves as a liaison between other De Anza College departments for technology-enhanced courses.
    • Serves as a liaison between faculty and students, to support the needs of each group.
    • Encourages participation from a variety of students including those in the categories of: re-entry, transfer, personal enrichment, home-bound, job advancement, working, and parenting.
    • Trains instructors to be sensitive to the needs of non-traditional students.
    • Maximizes uses of interpersonal, small group, and media communication systems for distribution of information such as online bulletin boards, listservs, and electronic mail (e-mail) through the Internet, telephone, audio tape, cable TV, broadcast TV, and videotape.
    • Researches and integrates new technologies into distance learning programs to improve quality and services.
    • Communicates program and instructional information to students effectively and in an easy-to understand manner.
    • Works with other service departments at De Anza to encourage delivery of student support services to those learners who may be unable to come to campus for service.
    • Promotes and explains the distance learning program to potential users through a variety of distribution systems.
    • Evaluates program to respond to student/instructor needs and concerns.
    • Provides leadership and cooperation in sharing organizational and program information with other groups, both within and outside of the De Anza community.
  • What is Distance Education?
  • Distance education describes teaching and learning which takes place with the teachers and learner separated during part or all of the instructional process. The teacher and learner are connected through some kind of educational media which conveys course content and allows for interaction. A wide variety of technologies, approaches and techniques may be used to promote the instructional process. Face to face components may be part of distance education. (Watkins, 1993). Instruction may be asynchronous (not "real time") or synchronous ("real time").
  • What types of distance learning classes are offered?
  • At De Anza, the majority of distance learning courses are online courses. Some course also incorporate videos and other technologies.
  • Where is the DLC located?
  • The Distance Learning Center is located in room 250 of the Media & Learning Center  building.

    For directions to the De Anza campus, please see De Anza's online Maps

  • Why do students take distance learning courses?
  • Overwhelmingly students say it is because of their busy schedules. They simply don't have time to come to campus on a regular basis. Others saythey enjoy learning independently.

Distance Learning
Building: MLC 210
Email: distance@deanza.edu
Phone: 408.864.8969

Last Updated: 10/21/13